A patient’s capacity to give informed consent or to leave the emergency department against medical advice is a topic of great relevance to emergency clinicians. This article discusses the difference between competence and capacity and highlights the four essential elements involved in the assessment of a patient’s capacity.
A multicenter, one-day prevalence, prospective, observational, double-blind study in 19 ICUs revealed that the decisionmaking capacity of ICU patients was widely overestimated by all clinicians as compared with a capacity score measured by the Mini-Mental Status Examination and the Aid to Capacity Evaluation.
During the past 20 years, suicide has become recognized as a major public health concern. Focused medical assessment and suicide risk assessment in the emergency department can help determine whether a mental health consultation is required and whether patients need hospitalization.
Ronette Wiley, RN, MHSA, CPPS, vice president of performance improvement at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, NY, offers these examples of safety improvements resulting from the safety huddles implemented in 2015:
Beginning this year, the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care has a new standard (7.I.B.) requiring a written risk assessment in infection control. The risk assessment becomes the basis for the infection control program for the facility, according to Marcia Patrick, MSN, RN, CIC, surveyor for ambulatory care at AAAHC.